please help with staggered hatch advice

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chkinut, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. chkinut

    chkinut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2010
    Leesburg, Ohio
    well, well, well.....i have gotten myself into a crazy predicament. my 1st mistake was ordering hatching eggs during the holiday season from 3 different people....hoping they'd get here on the same day. [​IMG] stupid! anyway, they all came on different days. one came on wed, one on friday, one on saturday (today). well, i let the 1st one sit 24 hours, then i set them....afraid to let them sit too long cuz who knows when the other pkgs would ever come. i had heard horror stories about them taking forever. so...long story short:
    set 1 set on thursday
    set another set on friday (wanting to get them in as quickly as possible with the 1st set)
    now i finally got my last shipment and i have yet to set them, they are resting at the moment.
    my question is, since they're all a day apart, can i put them all into lockdown on the same day? 1st set would go in a day late, 2nd set would go in "just-right", and 3rd set would go in a day early. is this wise?
    my other option is, take 2 sets and put them into lockdown on the same day in a different incubator (i have one i can borrow from a friend). and leave the 3rd set in the original incubator.
  2. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    Put them all in lockdown as soon as you hear the first chirp or see the first pip. Mist them when you do. You may have to remove chicks at the 3 day mark when others are still hatching so mist then too.
  3. chkinut

    chkinut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2010
    Leesburg, Ohio
    thanks! i will do just that!
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Since you have the option of a second incubator, I'd take advantage of it. Take the two sets you have set the closest together. I suspect it is the first two but I'm not sure. Have them in the same incubator and lock down somewhere in between when you would normally lock down each set. Say sets one and two were set 24 hours apart and set three was set 48 hours after set two, just to get some numbers to use. Using one incubator lock down sets one and two 12 hours late for set one which will be 12 hours early for set two. Treat set three as you normally would in the other incubator.

    I'm not arguing against Rebel's advice. If you only had one incubator, that would be a logical way to approach it. But since you have two incubators available, I think you should take advantage of the opportunity. And if you have history with your incubator where you know it runs a tad warm where they normally hatch early or cool where they normally hatch late, you might want to adjust lockdown a bit to account for that.

    I'm not convinced that the timing on lockdown is real, real critical. As a matter of good practice you should try to get it pretty close, but I had an incubator that ran a little warm. I had a pip when I went into lockdown after 18 days of development and had 10 of 12 that started to develop hatch in that batch. I've had more problems shrink-wrapping chicks by opening the incubator during hatch than by missing lockdown a bit. Staggered hatching can be a pain but with a second incubator, I don't think you are in much trouble.
  5. chkinut

    chkinut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2010
    Leesburg, Ohio
    that's true too.....i guess the only reason i hesitate on borrowing her incubator, is simply cuz i don't KNOW her bator. but if i could have her bring it over a week before i need it so i can fiddle with it....i think it could work. thanks so much!! both of you!!! [​IMG]
  6. HBuehler

    HBuehler Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2009
    Lebanon TN
    I break all rules of lockdown and have close to 100% hatch rates every time..Lockdown may be on day 18 here or 19 even 20.I have had them pip and hatch on the turners while on and they do great.I don't fret over opening the bator to add's easier than getting it through the holes.I take out chicks when they seem to need to get out-you can tell.I try to hatch around 60% humidity but they come out great at 20% as well.I don't have shrink wrapped chicks other than when the power went out on T'Giving and my alarm failed bators were all at 78 and 79 degrees lockdown was reading 99% and raining inside..the first hatches in that were so sticky they were stuck to the shell and me..and the bator..and well they had a bath...still not shrink wrapped just goo wrapped:rant...100% hatch though.
    With your hatches I would simply lockdown in the middle.It won't hurt the last ones to go in a day early..we do that if I have 2 small ones just a few days apart.I wouldn't consider using another person's bator for have 18 days and the eggs invested then a bator you don't know the History on.
  7. chkinut

    chkinut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2010
    Leesburg, Ohio
    ok, my mind is made up.....i'm putting all of them in lockdown in the middle....u know, sometimes i wonder if we fret too much about lockdown. i know the mother hen has got to get off the nest during her lockdown time. maybe not if she has a person to put her food and water right beside her....but wild birds don't have that luxury and they've been hatching long before we got our hands on incubators. i'm not against the rules of lockdown, but i'm not gonna freak....and i'm still gonna mist if needed.
  8. ICanSpeakChicken

    ICanSpeakChicken Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 8, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    I agree, lock them down in the middle, I did this recently and it worked for me!
  9. chkinut

    chkinut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2010
    Leesburg, Ohio
    Quote:oh it's great to hear of someone's actual experience with the same problem! thanks!!! [​IMG]

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